When I built my new computer about 6 months ago, in my haste I did something pretty stupid. I had an old drive in the computer along with the new, larger one I wanted to install everything on. The smaller one would just be backup storage. Well, in my haste I didn't realize till after I had finished that I had installed XP Pro on the wrong drive. To compound things, I was so excited and impatient to get everything up and running that instead of formatting the old one first before reinstalling XP on the correct drive, I just went ahead with the installation. This set up a dual boot, with one of the boots being an unactivated version of Windows. I tried formatting the hard drive after and it wouldn't let me because it contained a system boot, so I just decided to deal with it. Now I really want to remove the old hard drive because it is slow and loud, and really just does not need to be there, but when I tried removing it my system refused to boot until I reinstalled it. How can I remove the "old" version of XP pro so I can remove this old hard drive and go back to a normal single boot system? Thanks in advance for any help!
1) How are the drives jumpered? 2) What's the boot order in the BIOS? 3) Is there any reason that you can't repair/reinstall WinXP to the new drive?
1) The older drive is set to autodetect, the new drive is an SATA (drivers installed to run it on both the old and new windows install) 2) New hard drive, then CD Rom, then Floppy 3) Would it be that simple? Just unhook the old drive, put the windows install disk into the CD Rom and set it as primary boot, and reinstall windows on the new drive? Would that effect the files already on the new drive? I have a second SATA hard drive in the mail right now, so if I can't figure it out by the time it arrives, I may just unhook both current drives, do a fresh install of everything on the newest drive, then hook up the other SATA drive to transfer files over and then reformat it. By the way, the error message I get when I try to boot without the old drive in is "NTLDR is missing".
Old drive is an IDE? What motherboard do you have (or better yet, what SATA controller is the new drive pluigged into)? I've got an IDE drive and a SATA drive in my primary box, and I needed an IDE-to-SATA adapter to get both drives to work as I needed them to. Next thought: is the BIOS configured to look for the SATA drive on boot? More specifically, what does the BIOS identify the SATA drive as? With respect to point 3: Yes, it is that simple, but I'd back up your files first. A repair installation of Windows (which is what I'd try first) might fix it. If not, you'd need to go all-out and format/full install. That error message is bothering me. I've encountered it before, but I can't remember in what context. I'll see if I can't dig up something on it when I get home.
What does the Fox say?
23rd November 2002
Pyroshane By the way, the error message I get when I try to boot without the old drive in is "NTLDR is missing".
Sounds like your Windows NT boot loader is installed on your old drive... I guess Windows XP installs the Boot Loader on whatever drive is set to master...
Try this. Boot from the WinXP CD, and go to the REcovery console.
Type fixboot, or fixmbr. That should fix the problem.
I am using the Asus A8V Deluxe motherboard. Will reboot in a second to see the exact term they use for the SATA drive in the bios. The SATA controller is the onboard VIA SATA connection. Trying Monster_user's suggestion now.
Thank you Monster! And yes, Windows /does/ do that, or something very similar (it also labels the first writable drive that it encounters as C:\, but I don't know if that's for the same reason or not).
The bios lables the drive as VIA VT6420 1st HDD. When I try and boot from the CD, it goes through the full windows setup including requireing me to load the RAID drivers for the SATA drive, so I will have to dig out the CD that came with the motherboard and remake the driver disks. I am reaching the point where I think I will just wait for my new hard drive (another SATA) to arrive and do a fresh install on it, and then hook up my older SATA and toss the IDE.
PyroshaneThe bios lables the drive as VIA VT6420 1st HDD. When I try and boot from the CD, it goes through the full windows setup including requireing me to load the RAID drivers for the SATA drive, so I will have to dig out the CD that came with the motherboard and remake the driver disks. I am reaching the point where I think I will just wait for my new hard drive (another SATA) to arrive and do a fresh install on it, and then hook up my older SATA and toss the IDE.
WTF? That's... odd. Try moving it to the first Intel port (there should be two groups of SATA ports, move the drive to the first port of the other group) and see if that goes away. I'm wondering (now, and it's something of a tangent) if either the VIA controller is set up like it's running a JBOD array, or if it identifies drives connected to it as being part of an array. And it asked for RAID drivers specifically, and not just SATA drivers? I'm afraid that simply getting a new SATA drive won't solve this new bit, though.
Well, I am posting from a different computer now, because aparently and completely aside from the first problem, my computer crashed while playing UT2004 and the hard drive (the SATA one) failed. I will be temporarily activating the windows copy on the older drive until my new drive arrives on Tuesday so I am not completely without a computer. Hopefully it wasnt a complete fail and I will be able to get most of the stuff from it, but knowing my luck lately the stuff is lost.